Ancient Romans kept flying penis charms to ‘deter sickness and bad luck’

Jewellery shaped into winged penises were worn by Ancient Romans as necklaces and hung as decoration to ward off anything untoward, an expert has revealed.

Romans would use the phallic amulets, called "bullae", to repel disease and curses.

According to Atalas Obscura , they were worn by adults and children and were even hung up in family homes.

People believed the penis jewellery would keep any infection or disease away as well as stop curses like the evil eye.

Infant mortality was prevalent in Roman times and parents turned to methods like this to try to help keep their children safe from sickness.

Boys also wore the amulets to signal their status, such as whether they were kept as slaves or lived as free boys.

These lucky charms weren't always penis-shaped but it was thought that the phallus gave it that extra special power.

Expert Anthony Philip Corbeill explained that people believed wearing the phalluses they would be given "divine power".

Romans also thought that the fertility powers of a penis would keep them safe.

Corbeill said: "The sexual energy of the phallus was tied directly to its power in reproduction."

The pieces have been dug up all over the world by archaeologists, including in Italy and Israel.

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Before modern medicine, Ancient Romans firmly believed in alternative methods like this to fight illness and bad luck.

But these necklaces weren't designed to look like any old penises, these penises are specifically "fascinus" or "fascinum".

The fascinus is the divine penis.

Roman author and natural philosopher Pliny The Edler said the fascinus was a doctor that would ward off envy or the evil eye.

It wasn't just jewellery that took on the fascinum form either, sometimes phallic wind chimes would also be used to repel anything unwanted.

They were also used as a sign of power.

When a Roman General would parade victoriously through the street his chariot would often display the fascinus.

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